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Fiesta Bowl Classic Basketball Tournament
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/27/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Dec. 27, 2002

TUCSON - Arizona Coach Lute Olson:

(On the Christmas Break)

"I'm always concerned about a break that's not normal, usually two days off. But we gave explicit instructions about working out and conditioning. I'm sure some of the players did it religiously, and maybe some others did not. We we're rusty last night (in Thursday practice). This morning we came in and had them shoot for about an hour, so in Friday afternoon's practice we can concentrate on what we need to do, and our timing."

(On freshman forward Andrea Igoudala, who did not return to Tucson in time for Thursday's practice)

"Andre will be available to play. But he won't get the start and he may not play early."

(On Luke Walton's ankle injury)

"Luke is still a little tender. We'll have to see how he responds. He did the morning shooting okay, but will be limited in practice (this afternoon). You have to play basketball to get ready to play basketball -- you can't ride a stationary bike. We need to have him in there as much as we can. I think you can count on him being in the starting lineup."

(On tourney first-round opponent Davidson)

"Davidson is very good. All you have to do is take a look at their stats. They gave Duke a great game. They have great, great shooters. They're the best shooting team we've played, by far -- it's not even close. They like to go up and down and (guard) Wayne Bernard is a good leader. They have size inside and great three-point shooting. At Duke they battled the whole way. They're a for-real team. We'll have to play as well as we can play."

(On the Fiesta Bowl tournament)

"The reason we have the tournament set up the way it is, is because it's a duplication of a conference (weekend). You play one day, have one day to prepare, then play a second game. I've always felt (the tournament) was an important step for us in the league season."

Davidson Coach Bob McKillop:

"Last year we had five seniors help separate us from (a lot of) Division I, in that all five players graduated, all five players played on a (Southern Conference) championship team and all five players earned professional contracts for playing in European leagues. This year the leadership of the senior class has (again) been outstanding. They embraced the newcomers and made sure they believe in our program."

(On playing teams such as Duke and Arizona):

"We try to put our players into environments in pre-conference play that will help us later. Playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium is a great experience and a great challenge. When we played (at McKale Center) in 1997-98, the placed rocked. Those kinds of experiences help prepare a team -- simply in comjmunicating, for example.

"We do make shots. We have a number of guys who make shots. We're an unselfish team and we do get good shots in the game. 'Are you a bad shooter or are you taking bad shots? Are you a good shooter or are you taking good shots?' We work on it."

"We're thrilled to come back for this tournament. It can be a dress rehearsal for what we hopes becomes March Madness."

Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton:

(On his team's first road trip of the year)

"I always (emphasize) that it doesn't matter where you play. All courts are 94 feet. If you're going to be a successful team, you have to learn how to play on the road. It's a unique opportunity to play on the road before you start conference play."

"We're a team that has been somewhat insconsistent. You can expect that from a team adjusting to a new staff, a new system and a new philosophy. The players are trying to develop enough knowledge of the system so they can react and respond by instint, both offensively and defensively. We have been somewhat tentative at times, but we're still learning. I think that we're moving in the right direction."

"Our guys have responded, for the most part, in trying to learn our system. We've played pretty hard. Florida State has some tradition and has made a tremendous commitment to giving us the resources. Now we have to do our jobs. We're working to build a foundation that can sustain us for the long haul, to compete at the highest level."

Boston University Coach Dennis Wolff:

"It's obvious why this is tought to be the best holiday tournament in the country. The hospitality has been superb. It's a very competitive field and been rebounding pretty well. We have a tough game with Florida State in the first round and whoever we're matched with in the second round will be a tough game."

"We've been a little bit up and down. We've played a pretty competitive schedule. For the most part, defensively, we've been a pretty competitive team and have been rebounding pretty well. Our problems have been on the offensive end where we haven't taken good enough care of the ball or shown enough patience."

"(Florida State) is a very good defensive team. The one change the coaching switch has brought to them is that Leonard has been able to instill in them the type of defensive philosophy that he had at Miami. They're going to make it difficult for us to run offense, and they're going to contest shots. We're going to have to be efficient on offense."

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